There are many factors to consider when choosing the right skills for your resume. After all, professional skills are an applicant’s top selling points, and the very first impression given to a hiring manager.
Believe it or not, the skills you choose to include (or not include) in your resume can have a huge effect on whether or not you are hired. Here are 5 types of skills to add to your resume if you want to stand out from the crowd.
1. Results-based Skills
Results-based skills are skills that show action and tell hiring managers that you are the kind of employee that strives to make an impact. Results-based skills come from prior experience and often involve growth, increase or improvement.
Action verbs and career-based skills can add a lot of value to your resume, according to Jordan DiLeonardi, Career Specialist at Purdue University Global.
“Relevant coursework and certifications are great, but there has to be a level of real world application. Whether managing a retail environment or working at a Fortune 500, value is demonstrated by showing that one has the ability to contribute and produce results,” says DiLeonardi.
Examples: Driving increased sales, Growing email subscribers
2. Certified Skills
If you’re lacking experience, consider picking up some certified skills. Industry-specific software or programs, which can often be obtained through online courses, make great strong skills on any resume.
Even if you don’t have relevant work experience, you can easily (and cheaply) pick up certifications related to the industry. These skills bode well because they show that you are serious enough to take the time outside of work to improve your own value.
Examples: word processing, data analysis, project management.
3. High-quality Soft Skills
Soft skills have been given a bad rap when it comes to resume writing because they can sound weak and unconvincing. For example, simply labeling yourself a “hard worker” leaves the hiring manager with little proof of your abilities.
However, not all soft skills are bad. Choosing high quality soft skills, and proving them through results, can show recruiters another side of your potential value to the company. For example, if you list “innovation” as a skill, you should provide and example of how you innovated.
Examples: leadership, vision, innovation.
4. Skills Mentioned in the Job Description
Regardless of how smart, personable or qualified you are for a position, without tailoring your resume to the job description, the hiring manager will likely never even know you exist. Plus, putting in the extra time to tailor your resume says a lot about your character.
“This not only reflects that they are serious candidates, but will hopefully translate into their day-to-day work ethic,” says DiLeonardi. He believes tailoring your resume speaks volumes of your potential as an employee.
To tailor your resume, read through the job description closely to see which skills (especially those mentioned more than once) match your own set of skills. The trick is to fit those skills into your resume naturally so the hiring manager doesn’t think you’re trying to trick their applicant tracking system filters.
Get suggestions for skills related to the job and check your work by using Jobscan.
5. Skills that Demonstrate Your Passions
What about skills that aren’t directly related to the job, but demonstrate your passions? If you believe there is a place for those skills in the company and it’s not too much of a stretch, they are worth including.
For example, if you’re applying to be a receptionist, and you love editing and writing, perhaps the employer would be interested in having you edit memos or newsletters in a pinch, or writing for the corporate blog. After all, the more value you bring to a company, the more they will want to keep you around.
“Value can often be shown by one’s ability and desire to be a well-rounded member of an overall team effort,” says DiLeonardi. “Especially if individual successes ultimately lead to team success.”
Examples: A writer who has experience with app testing, a graphic designer who took a summer coding class.
Choosing the right skills for each job will elevate your resume above all of the generic resumes of less serious applicants. But featuring high quality skills on your resume can do more than just give you a better chance of getting hired, it can set the tone for your long-term success and happiness within the company.